Do you love and pray for a child who died before birth?

Libby DuPont is Counselor for the Archdiocese Office of Marriage and Family Life.

by Libby DuPont

My kids Peter and Gianna, born in 2006 and 2008, didn’t live long enough to teach me the sort of things I learned from my two living kids: the details of the Marvel Universe, all my state capitals, the characters of Disney.” Descendants”, even the basics of American Sign Language. But her short life has taught me so much.

The saints are real. Two of my children are in heaven, which makes an abstract concept like “the communion of saints” very concrete. My daughter Gianna was born while I was in grad school and became very fond of one of my classmates.

After her death, this woman and her family began asking for “Baby Gianna’s” intercession every night over dinner. A few years later, this classmate shared with me a profound experience she had that led to the founding of a very fruitful apostolate in the church—on Gianna’s birthday. My little saints are busy!

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Salvation is not earned. From a worldly perspective, my children have accomplished nothing in their short lives. They simply received love from their families and were recipients of God’s merciful grace.

As an adult, of course, I need to act out my love for God and others, but my little saints remind me that I have the greatest impact on the world by simply allowing myself to be loved and by opening myself to God’s grace.

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It’s okay to let time pass. My oldest son just started his senior year of high school, so I braced myself for all the feelings that will come when he leaves the nest. But my perspective changed recently when we celebrated Peter’s 16th birthday.

I thought about how wonderful it will be to have all of eternity to meet my other son and daughter, share stories, and hang out. In fact, on the day we are all reunited, the time we’ve spent apart will feel like a long line at the grocery store or a red light that took too long to toggle. I am free to accept whatever life throws at me because I know the best is yet to come!

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If you love a child who has died before or shortly after birth (or if you simply want to support others who are doing so), please join us at 1pm on October 30 at Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park for Mass the innocent.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will preside at this annual Mass, praying with the names of the children and families represented for the month of November. No RSVP is required.

If you have any questions, email Brad DuPont at: [email protected] or call (913) 647-0301.

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